Friday, February 22, 2013

Your Dumpy Pre-Oscar Weekend at the Movies

Posted By on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 4:30 PM

Dark Skies movie
Dark Skies: Last weekend, all the studios got super-excited about the prospect of mass moviegoing and put out a major action sequel, a name-brand romance, a computer-animated family movie, and a would-be fantasy franchise starter all at once. This weekend, everyone beats a hasty retreat—or just assumes, I guess, that A Good Day to Die Hard and Safe Haven and Oscar nominees will continue to dominate the box office. This weekend's wide releases are pure programmers, the kind of thing you'd expect to find in mid-January. This is because the second half of February is secretly the worst time of year for movies, possibly because everyone is distracted on last-minute Oscar advertising? I'm not sure. All I know is that the most interesting-looking movie out this weekend is from the writer-director behind Legion and Priest, only it co-stars Josh Hamilton instead of Paul Bettany. This is actually kind of awesome, because this is Kicking and Screaming star Hamilton's highest-profile role in a solid decade-plus, much higher-profile than, for example, his appearance as "hey is that Josh Hamilton?!" in Margaret, and "wait, Josh Hamilton is in this?!" in J. Edgar. He's matched with a fellow purveyor of 90s(ish) angst; current FX darling Keri Russell plays his wife in an alien-horror-thriller thing, and how much do you want to bet any conversations Russell has to promote this movie will be steered toward The Americans right quick? Unfortunately, Dark Skies also costars the insufferable little bastard from Real Steel. I'm pretty sure if this movie had come out any other weekend this year, I would not have seen it; I'm also pretty sure I'll wind up seeing this one on Friday night.

Snitch movie
Snitch: Your other genre choice for the weekend is one of those movies The Rock makes when he's not swooping in to save moribund franchises: G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Fast and Furious 6 drop in March and May, respectively; he also has Pain and Gain in April, which means there is a movie starring the Rock coming out on the last weekend of every month for the next four months. Year of the Rock kickoff Snitch is also one of those movies directed by a former stunt coordinator, much like how Scott Stewart of Dark Skies was a visual effects man for years before graduating to a supervisory position. Snitch director Ric Roman Waugh also did a movie called Felon and may be involved in another called Currency; I can't wait for his forthcoming movies Evidence, Lockup, and Gun. In the meantime, we can enjoy the spectacle of The Rock acting opposite Susan Sarandon, as I believe she plays a DEA agent who pressures Dwayne Really The Rock Johnson to go undercover in the drug trade in order to save his son. This looks like a more serious version of Faster, which is to say it may well involve The Rock doing a bunch of glowering rather than actually beating people up or leaping through the air. Speaking of: did you see that Fast and Furious 6 trailer?! Oh man, I wish I was watching that right now.

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